Saturday, March 7, 2009

Indoor Grow Lights and Hoophouse

Here is a picture of my grow light set up in the basement. I have two shop lights with GE Kitchen and Bath fluorescent tubes. These tubes proved to be the best for plants when compared with other fluorescent tube lighting (see this link for the comparison test) Wayne's This and That. It is getting crowded under the lights and soon I will be transplanting to 4" pots. I am experimenting with lettuce, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and peppers. The two green jugs on the right are lettuce growing into a hydroponic solution. I also have some tomatoes starting in rockwool cubes. These will be transplanted into my hydroponic grow farm and there will be more on this later.

Today I made a small, 4'x4' hoophouse. This will be used to harden off my plants prior to planting in the ground. I probably will be able to start putting some plants out in the hoophouse in April. You will see a Witten automatic black vent. I bought this from Ace Hardware outlet Ace Hardware outlet online for about $13 including shipping. This vent automatically opens at 70 degrees and closes at 40 degrees. There is a temperature sensor and no batteries or power is needed to do this. I thought this would be perfect for the hoophouse to protect the plants. I do have extra plants that I can try out to see if they survive under this protection.

I used 2x4 for the bottom hoophouse frame and 3/4" outside diameter PVC pipe. The plastic sheeting is 4 mil bought in a 10'x25' roll. Total is about $25. I will have to see how well the plastic holds up this season. I also am considering a small hobby greenhouse.

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